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  • Your Niagara Falls wedding – and some helpful advice

    Patti Wallington is the Niagara Falls areas only certified wedding planner; she heads the wedding team at Occasions in Niagara. We offer
    a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake for those who may be planning a destination wedding.
    With two decades of experience, no one knows the Niagara area better than Occasions in Niagara.

Niagara Falls Wedding Ring Shopping

Congratulations! You’re getting married. Now you need to go Niagara Falls wedding ring shopping for an engagement and/or wedding ring. You’ve likely seen many movies where the man spends a lot of time – and money – selecting the perfect engagement or wedding ring for his bride-to-be. But these days, purchasing engagement and wedding rings is often something a couple does together.

We’ve compiled a checklist of things to think about before you head out to purchase your dream engagement and wedding rings:

Niagara Falls wedding ring shoppingPIN

Set a Budget – And Stick to It

We’ve all heard the guideline for an engagement ring – two months’ salary. But really, you should purchase a ring you can afford, not one you’ll still be paying for in five years’ time. Don’t confuse love with a price tag. There are always ways to get around big costs. If you have your heart set on a big diamond, look for a stone with a larger surface area. It won’t be as sparkly, but the stone won’t be as deep and will look bigger than it is. If you refuse to lessen your sparkle, ask for stones that are just shy of the next carat (for example 0.8 instead of 1 carat or 1.9 instead of 2 carats). This can add up to big savings.

If you want a large stone and it doesn’t have to be a diamond, then consider a less expensive centre gemstone, such as tourmaline, blue topaz, ruby or sapphire, flanked by smaller diamonds.
With wedding rings, a simple band will be less expensive than one encrusted with diamonds. The type of metal you select will also determine the price – white gold is cheaper than platinum – as will you want engraving on the inside of the band.

Plan Ahead

You don’t usually walk into a jewellery store, pick out a ring and go home. As we discussed, you need to budget for a ring and that should entail saving up for one. But you also need to plan for enough time to have the stone set or the ring custom designed. Make sure you’ve given yourself at least six weeks.

Get Educated – About the Four Cs

For diamonds this means Carat, Clarity, Cut and Colour. Carat refers to the weight of the diamond and clarity describes all the little details that can be seen when magnified. There are various colours of diamonds and the letter grades D-Z reflect those shades, while cut refers to the number, placement and shape of the diamond’s facets.

Quality is No. 1

Like everything else in life, you get what you pay for. Get referrals from family and friends you trust. Shop around so you’ll know what you can expect to pay. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoying reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.

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Planning your wedding on your cell phone

After being the first wedding company to develop a fully mobilized experience across the mobile web in 2010, WeddingWire has launched three new mobile apps: WedTeam, WedStyle and WedSocial . The apps, available for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake brides-to-be at the iTunes Store, solve three of engaged couples’ biggest planning needs by providing inspiration, vendor support and seamless guest communications. The apps are also an expansion of the WeddingWire’s ongoing vision to simplify the wedding process via technology, so now you can literally be planning your wedding on your cell phone.

Planning your wedding on your cell phone PIN

WedTeam  is a wedding vendor search catalog. You can find and book your team of Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding vendors quickly and easily with the most extensive catalog of newlywed reviews in the industry – more than 1.5 million reviews. You can: search Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding vendors by location and preferences; save your favorite wedding vendors and compare those you’re interested in contacting; and manage your Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding vendor list and keep track of booked vendors as you plan your wedding.

WedStyle allows you to get instant feedback on all your wedding style ideas. Want to vote on the hottest Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding trends? Can’t decide on the right wedding dress or which wedding bouquet to pick? Share your photos and let the wedding community vote to help you decide. You can: find Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding inspiration by searching and scrolling through thousands of stunning images; help other couples make decisions and rate today’s hottest wedding trends by sharing your vote; upload your own photos to let the wedding community help you make decisions; and invite your friends and family to help you find your wedding style

WedSocial  syncs directly with your WeddingWire wedding website. It allows you to collect all of your guests’ photos from your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding, and share your big day details with your nearest and dearest. You can: ensure your guests are on time to your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding; allow your guests to access all your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake event details; encourage wedding photo sharing as your guests can now upload their photos during your wedding events into a live photo feed; manage your guests’ photos directly from your wedding website and easily download them to share your wedding photos after your big day; and capture every memory of your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding with the new photo sharing app.

Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoying reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.

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Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Despite months (and sometimes years!) spent planning your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding day, there are bound to be some hiccups. To guard against a wardrobe malfunction or when your cousin spills a tiny amount of wine on the hem of your gown just before pictures, you will need a wedding day emergency kit. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of trying to come up with what you should keep in your kit, don’t worry; we’ve got your back, here are suggestions for your wedding day emergency kit:.

wedding day emergency kitPIN

For Clothing

• Sewing kit with needles, thread, buttons and safety pins
• Toupee tape or duct tape (keeping clothes in place)
• Scissors
• White chalk (for masking stains)
• Lighter (sealing the edge of a fraying ribbon)
• Lint roller
• Clear nail polish (for runs)

For Mishaps

• Tissues (for all sorts of reasons)
• Mini first aid kit with band-aids, liquid bandages and antiseptic
• Blister protection
• Tylenol, Advil or other pain reliever
• Allergy medicine if necessary
• Antacid
• Cotton swabs

For Freshening Up

• Baby power
• Extra undergarments (just incase the baby powder doesn’t work)
• Q-Tips and makeup remover
• Tampons or panty liners
• Deodorant
• Razor
• Towelettes
• Dental floss and toothpicks
• Toothpaste and toothbrush
• Mouthwash
• Eye Drops
• Lotion

For Grooming

• Lip Balm
• Nail polish in the shade you’re wearing
• Lipstick
• Powder
• Small mirror
• Hair elastics and bobby pins
• Comb and/or brush
• Tweezers
• Blotting papers
• Sunscreen

Miscellaneous

• Granola bars or other snacks
• Breath mints
• Super glue (will fix anything!)
• Paper and pen
• Stain remover pen
• Straws
• Extension cord and phone charger
• Cash
• Extra earring backs
• Water

 
Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoying reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.

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Niagara Falls Wedding Venues 101

The most important part of planning your wedding is selecting your wedding venue. There are many things to consider and a bit of research can go a long way in finding out what you can expect – not only in the form of service but also price.

Niagara Falls Wedding Venues 101PIN

Here is a checklist of questions you should make sure you ask when you’re looking at a potential wedding venue:

General

  • Is my date free? Will I be sharing the date with any other weddings? If so, how does the facility keep the different weddings separate?
  • Does the venue have enough seated capacity to accommodate the number of guests I intend to invite?
  • Does the venue provide an on-site wedding co-ordinator? If so, how long will they be there? And what are their exact duties and is there an additional charge for them?
  • Can the venue accommodate ceremonies on site as well?
  • Would the ceremony be in a separate area than the reception?
  • If there ceremony or reception is to be outdoors, what is the backup plan?
  • Is there room for a band or dancing?
  • Do you allow for a rehearsal?
  • Does the venue have its own sound equipment and speakers (even just for speeches) or do you need to rent that?
  • Can I hook an iPod or laptop into your sound system?
  • Are there adequate bathroom facilities? Is there a coat check? If so, is there a cost for that?
  • Is the site accessible?
  • Is there a smoking area?
  • Is there enough parking? And will it be within walking distance? Will guests be charged for parking?
  • What time do my guests need to leave the facility?
  • Is there somewhere secure to store wedding gifts?

Food & Drink

  • Do I have to use your caterer? Or is there a limitation to which caterers I want to use?
  • Is a complimentary menu tasting included? How many people can I bring to that?
  • What is included for drinks (pop, tea, coffee, wine with dinner)? Is it a flat rate or per person cost?
  • Is your venue licensed?
  • Can I bring my own wine? Is there a corkage fee if I do so?
  • Is there a cost for the champagne toast?
  • Do you charge for bar or wait staff?
  • What time will my meal be served?
  • Do you accommodate for allergies and other dietary requirements?
  • Can I bring in my own cake or do I need to use your pastry chef?
  • Do you charge a cake-cutting fee? Do you provide special cake cutting utensils?
  • What is the price per person/plate? What is the tax and service charge/gratuity?
  • How long will the bar be open? Do I need to pay for after bar hours?

Décor & Styling

  • Are linens, tables, chairs, plates, silverware and glassware provided?
  • What kind of tables do you have?
  • Can I change any of the current décor?
  • When can my vendors arrive to set up for the wedding? Any chance for day before access?
  • Can I use candles?
  • Who is responsible for setting up and tearing down the décor?

Accommodation

  • If this is a hotel, is the bridal suite included?
  • What type of accommodation can you offer? Do you offer discounted rates for wedding guests?
  • If not a hotel, what types of accommodations are in the area? Can you provide recommendations?
  • Do you offer any type of shuttle service?
  • What is the check out time?

Financial 

  • Is there a cost to rent the ceremony site? Is there a room charge for the reception? What about any other areas we plan to use?
  • Is there a discount for days other than Saturday?
  • Is there a discount for non-peak season, especially in Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake?
  • Is there a payment schedule?
  • What kind of deposits are required?
  • Are there hidden costs like a service charge, gratuity, cleaning fees or overtime charges?
  • What is the consequence if I don’t have the minimum food and beverage bill or minimum number of guests?
  • What’s the cancellation policy? What deposits can I expect back, if any?
  • What’s the last possible date that we can make changes? Are there any fees for making changes?

There can be a lot of fine print at some venues. If you have your heart set on a venue, ask to have a proposal put together that includes everything, including a detail of service charges and the venue’s policies. While at the facility, use your phone to take pictures and record what you see so you’ll remember it better. Don’t have your heart set on a venue before you compare it to others. You might be pleasantly surprised with a venue that was your third or fourth choice based on the answers to the above questions. And most of all, get it in writing. For the majority of venues, you haven’t secured anything until you’ve paid a deposit and signed a contract. Keep a copy of any correspondence between you and the venue representative and when changes are made, make sure they are noted.

Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoying reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.
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Your Niagara Falls wedding budget

Soon after you get engaged, many people are going to tell you that you need to have a wedding budget – and to stick to it – I can attest that it will be the best piece of advice you receive as you plan your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding. But how do you go about creating a wedding budget? What are the questions to be asking? How much do weddings cost? Ahhhhhhh…

Your Niagara Falls wedding budgetPIN

Ball Park It

The first thing you’ll need to do is find out what things cost in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake for your wedding. You don’t want to draw up a budget for a $10,000 wedding only to find out the venue you want to be married in costs $1,500. Before you start putting numbers on paper, make some calls or go on the Internet and get pricing. As well, if you have your heart set on a June wedding in Niagara Falls, expect to pay a premium than if you were thinking about a March or November wedding.

Contributors

After you’ve got some figures on what everything is going to cost for your Niagara Falls or Niagara-on-the-Lake wedding, you’re going to need to know where the money is coming from. Talk to all of your parents to see if they are willing to contribute to the cost of your wedding. Not all parents can afford to pay for the entire wedding as they might have done in the 1950s. Some might be able to cover the bar tab or the flowers, etc.

Prioritize

Now that you’ve got an idea of where your funds are coming from and the amount you’re going to need, you must prioritize your money. Which elements of your wedding are vitally important to you? Can you forgo some flowers to get a better photographer? What about your dress? Can you pick one in the $800-mark and save $1,000, which you can put towards catering? You must spend some time with your fiancée deciding what is important to the two of you. A note: we strongly encourage you not to skimp on photography for a whole host of reasons, namely they are a professional and the most cherished memories you will have from your wedding day is photos.

Savings

As we mentioned with the time of year to get married, consider all the ways you can save money (and check out previous blogs for ideas). Can your flowers do double duty? What about cutting back on invitations and using e-correspondence instead? With a bit of research and tenacity, you’ll be able to find many ways to save. As well, take second and third looks at your guest list. At first glance, you will want everyone to come. But if you’re paying $150 a head for the meal, eliminating 10 guests you haven’t spoken to or seen in five years is going to save $1,500.

Track It

There are many ways to track your spending so all your figures are up-to-date. Download a spreadsheet from a wedding site or use one of the many apps that are available. All you have to do is plug in what you’ve spent to determine what you have remaining to stay on budget. One thing you might want to build into your budget is an overflow or splurge column so if, once you get into your wedding planning, you decide you simply must have a certain element, you have an extra cushion already built into your budget for it.

 

Patti Wallington is the premiere wedding planner in Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Please enjoying reading this blog and the others we have listed. We offer a full slate of wedding services for Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake to both Niagara couples and those who live out of town.

 

 

 

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